Saudi Aramco to use CO2 to boost Ghawar oil field output by 2013

RISING DEMAND: Saudi is the world’s largest crude reserves, aims to boost the amount of oil it gets from its fields to help meet rising demand at home and abroad

Saudi Aramco plans to start by 2013 injecting carbon dioxide to boost production at its Ghawar oil field, the world’s largest, the company said.

Aramco will pump 40 million cubic feet a day from two gas- processing plants into a section of the field, Samer al Ashgar, manager of the company’s EXPEC Advanced Research Center, said today at a carbon-capture conference in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, holder of the world’s largest crude reserves, aims to boost the amount of oil it gets from its fields to help meet rising demand at home and abroad. Ghawar produces about 5 million barrels of crude a day on average, Aramco data show. The deposit has reserves of 88 billion barrels, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al Naimi said in October.

Saudi Aramco has planned and designed the carbon-dioxide capture facility and transport system and has starting building it, al Ashgar said today. The carbon will come from the Hawiyah and Uthmaniyah gas-processing plants, he said.

Saudi Arabia also has a so-called enhanced oil recovery project in part of the al Wafra field that aims to pump more crude by heating it underground using steam injection. That field has rerserves of about 23 billion barrels, a company official said in October.

The steam injection is expected to cost about $340m and is run by Chevron Corp. The project is showing great potential and the recovery technique may be applied to the entire field once it’s completed, al Naimi said in December.

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